The Prevalence of Preventive behaviors and associated factors during early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic among Iranian People: An Application of Health Belief Model


Coronavirus disease 2019, preventive behaviors, health belief model


Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has developed into a severe public health concern. The present study was aimed to evaluate the related preventive behaviors to COVID-19, and associated factors among Iranians based on the constructs of the Health Belief Model (HBM).

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between March and April 2020 among Iranians. Data of 1020 people were collected and analyzed. Data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire based on the constructs of HBM and also a demographics questionnaire. Simple and multivariable linear regression models were used to determine the predictors of preventive behaviors concerning COVID-19. A P-value of less than 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: The mean score of preventive behaviors concerning COVID-19 was 51.3±7.25. 72.8% (95% confidence interval (CI): 69.9%-75.4%), and 24.3% (95% CI: 21.7%-27.0%) of the participants exhibited a high, and moderate level of preventive behaviors, respectively. 75.1% of the participants would always/often wear face masks out home or in crowded places. The most common preventive behaviors were using of personal belongings in the workplace or at home (96.1%) and staying at home except for very necessary or for work (92.9%). Results showed that all six HBM constructs, i.e., perceived susceptibility (B=0.14, P<0.001), perceived severity (B=0.12, P<0.001), perceived benefits (B=0.25, P<0.001), perceived barriers (B=-0.12, P=0.001), cues to action (B=0.16, P<0.001), and self-efficacy (B=0.26, P<0.001) were significant predictors of related preventive behaviors to COVID-19. Female gender was another predictor of preventive behaviors (B=2.27, P<0.001).

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the effectiveness of HBM constructs in predicting COVID-19 preventive behaviors. Therefore, the model as a framework for designing training programs for improving health behaviors among Iranians during the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be helpful.


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